Advice to Congress: go listen to Dave Ramsey for an hour.

What an hour that would be.

I had the priviledge to listen to Ramsey as he gave a 90 minute financial pep talk to service members and spouses last week. If you’ve ever heard Ramsey’s radio show, it shouldn’t come as surprise that he’s even better in person. The folksy wit, wisdom and ever-flowing humor go a long way to salve the stupid money decisions of the past. Instapundit linked to this today: Dave Ramsey on the 5 Basics of Personal Finance.

Too many folks live like our government, except they don’t have access to a printing press. Ramsey writes:

Money’s fun—if you’ve got some. But the problem is a lot of people aren’t having fun. About 70 percent of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck. That means if you count 10 houses on your street, seven of those families have too much month left at the end of the money. They’re broke—and stressed out.

Ouch. No wonder the divorce rate is so high. Oddly enough, the one thing he didn’t mention last week was an observation pjHusband made a while back: the number one thing you can do to preserve your wealth is stay married. Go figure, eh? We’ve seen divorce ravage a number of friends emotionally–and financially. And in all honesty, the financial recovery takes longer.

The first Ramsey recommendation is a no-brainer (that’s why it’s too complicated for our government): Get out of debt!

What a concept, right? Cut up those credit cards. Or stop the presses.

Second: Act your wage.  Translation: don’t spend more than you make. Again, it doesn’t take a team of Ivy League government bureaucrats to … oh, wait. They don’t get it. Especially when it’s not their money.

Third: Get on a budget. A real one, no less. Hey, Democrats–it ain’t your money to spend! And you don’t have much of it. So how about spending like the rest of us have to–on a budget? Just in case you Democrats and RINOs don’t understand what a real budget means, here’s some solid Ramsey advice:

Just write out the month’s expected income minus planned expenses on paper, on purpose, before the month begins–and then stick to the plan.

I know how difficult this must sound, y’all, but really, once you get the hang of it, it’s not so bad! Tip: make sure it’s real money. Not imaginary. Not freshly printed. Not borrowed from China. Cut until you can pay for those expenses!

Four: Save and invest.  Ramsey:

We save money for three things: an emergency fund (3–6 months of expenses set aside for emergencies), purchases and wealth building. Once you’re out of debt and have a full emergency fund, there’s no reason why you can’t put 15 percent of your income into retirement

Plan your own retirement. I will never see a dime of Social Security. Neither will most folks like me under 40. The money doesn’t exist.

Last on the Ramsey plan: Give money away. Tithe. Gift with joy. Give where it’s needed most. To any random Congress member reading: you can’t give money away when you’ve got to print it. Just sayin’.

On a related giving note, I was incredibly impressed that Ramsey gifted his time to the soldiers and families present. He does this at bases across the country while he’s on tour. Pretty cool, huh? His new book is on my wish list.

There’s no quick-fix to money problems when you’re in the hole. Paying off debt isn’t fun. But it must be done. We’re ready for the pain because we want our kids to have a fighting chance, just like we did. So bring it on, Republicans.


Oh, heartbreaking

I missed this story last week but can’t get it out of my head this morning.

In short, a mom became profoundly disabled as a result of medical mishaps during the delivery of her triplets. Dad divorces mom after a year realizing she’ll never recover. Mom now in care of her parents on opposite side of the country, and dad seemingly does what he can to prevent the kids from knowing their mother.

How low have we sunk as a whole in devaluing life that disability must be hidden away? That children cannot know their mother because she nearly died giving birth? Or, as Wesley Smith asks: Do profoundly disabled people have parental rights?

Abby Dorn is that mom. A court issued a temporary ruling last week that she does have the right to see her children, regardless of her disability.

Thank God.

More from Dr. Manny.

UPDATE: linked as a Recommended Read by Pundette. Thanks!

Surprise, surprise, surprise: Lila Rose exposes Planned Parenthood exec as liar

So much for the argument that Planned Parenthood needs your tax dollars to provide free mammograms for poor women who would otherwise be unable to pay:

I love the line at the 1:00 mark. No, we’re a surgical facility.

H/t Matthew Archibold who adds:

Firstly, remind me never to make an enemy of Lila Rose because dude she’s scary good at taking down the federally funded Goliath called Planned Parenthood. Today she just released a new video where using a bunch of phone calls she has exposed the abortion giant as a bunch of liars. I know it’s shocking that people who kill babies for a living would also be a bunch of big fat liars.

I’d add the Susan G. Komen Foundation to that list, too. Remember, they give to PP under the premise of supporting “breast health.”

UPDATE: linked by Backyard Conservative who has more commentary. Thanks!

Dreaded words: Pass Closed


Especially on the day to drive home.

In the PJ backcountry


A la Althouse.

If GW had ever allied himself with sworn enemies…

Liberals would have mocked him mercilessly.

Via Pajamas Media, the Libyan rebel leader fought against us in Afghanistan.  John Rosenthal writes:

Shortly after unrest broke out in eastern Libya in mid-February, reports emerged that an “Islamic Emirate” had been declared in the eastern Libyan town of Darnah and that, furthermore, the alleged head of that Emirate, Abdul-Hakim al-Hasadi, was a former detainee at the American prison camp in Guantánamo. The reports, which originated from Libyan government sources, were largely ignored or dismissed in the Western media.

Now, however, al-Hasadi has admitted in an interview with the Italian newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore that he fought against American forces in Afghanistan. (Hat-tip: Thomas Joscelyn at the Weekly Standard.) Al-Hasadi says that he is the person responsible for the defense of Darnah — not the town’s “Emir.” In a previous interview with Canada’s Globe and Mail, he claimed to have a force of about 1,000 men and to have commanded rebel units in battles around the town of Bin Jawad.

“I have never been at Guantánamo,” al-Hasadi explained to Il Sole 24 Ore. “I was captured in 2002 in Peshawar in Pakistan, while I was returning from Afghanistan where I fought against the foreign invasion. I was turned over to the Americans, detained for a few months in Islamabad, then turned over to Libya and released from prison in 2008.”


At NRO, Jonah Goldberg adds:

I don’t think this is a bombshell, but I hope somebody in the White House is on top of this.

I disagree with the first assertion, and I can hedge my bets on the second: doubtful!

We need ground troops–of the Special Ops variety–if this “kinetic action” is to have any quick or lasting effect. Considering our guys were fighting these dudes in Afghanistan, then … yeah. Likely? Doubtful.

Pundette has more on Libya this morning, especially a lovely tidbit about the brilliant telling operational name of our days, no “weeks, not days,” kinetic action. Didn’t they say Obama and his minions were so smart that we’d see genius at work all over the place! Turns out they were right. Heh.

Ham and taxes.

Oh Friday. A Friday in Lent during which I put ham on my husband’s breakfast bagel before realizing it was Friday.

Doh. pjHusband said it reminded him of another wife giving forbidden foodstuffs.



Naptime blogging ahead if I’m lucky. Plus, more Canadian fanmail in the queue! Check the google feed for good coffee reading.

Tooooooooo much housework on the docket (I use the term loosely, to include in this case digging through the remaining boxes in the garage from last summer’s move to find tax junk. Fun stuff, indeed.)

Speaking of taxes, isn’t it handy to be a BFF of the President? That way you don’t catch too much grief when it turns out your ginormous company doesn’t pay any taxes at all. And gets money back, to boot! Jonah Goldberg calls the endless loopholes “nonsense.” I have another word for it.

I’m with the Lonely Conservative: I prefer not to buy GE products.

Now back to my handful of boxes in the chilly garage. Do they multiply in the night?